Julianna Margulies and Keith Lieberthal first met in 2006 before marrying in 2007
Julianna Margulies and her husband, Keith Lieberthal, have a sweet love story that started in 2006.
Of their first encounter, the actress told Oprah Winfrey’s OWN: “I waited! I waited. I was 39 when I met Keith, and I was ready to have an adult relationship at that age and not bring all my baggage to it, so I could really see him for who he was. And here’s what made it work: I never pretended to be anything I wasn’t.”
Despite the late encounter, Lieberthal wasn't familiar with Margulies' résumé.
"He honestly didn't know who I was," The Morning Show actress told PEOPLE in April 2021. "I mean, if he had seen my work, he didn't know. He was in law school. I was like, 'There's a couple movies I don't want you to see.' "
They married in November 2007 in Lenox, Massachusetts. The couple soon welcomed their son, Kieran Lindsay Lieberthal, in January 2008.
Here’s everything to know about Julianna Margulies' husband, Keith Lieberthal.
He met Margulies in 2006
Margulies first crossed paths with Lieberthal in early 2006 through a mutual acquaintance. She told Ellen Degeneres while appearing on The Ellen Degeneres Show the story of their unlikely introduction.
“I met my husband at a dinner party I wasn’t going to go to through an agent I didn’t sign with, who I adored ... I just can't go there," she said, explaining that they stayed friends. "I remembered [the agent’s] birthday six months later and just texted him, ‘Happy birthday,’ and he said, ‘I’m actually here in the city, come have dinner with us.’ I was like, ‘I’ll come for a drink.’ "
Margulies continued: "I was about to start a Broadway show, so I didn’t want to stay out late. Famous last words. I went, and there was Keith. And Keith had gone to Dartmouth, and this agent had been his R.A., and he just happened to be at this dinner.”
But she confessed that she had reservations when Lieberthal approached her that night. "I said, 'Are you an actor?’ Because as much as I love you all, I can’t. I’m done,' " Margulies added. She was happily surprised to learn that he was a lawyer who was of a similar age and Jewish.
"Kept getting better and better and that was it," she concluded.
He’s a lawyer
Margulies shared on The Ellen Degeneres Show that their "immediate" connection was more than just physical.
“I feel bad because people objectify him, and they’re like, ‘Oh, your husband is so hot.’ The truth is, he is unbelievably bright and smart and went to Harvard Law,” she said.
According to his LinkedIn, Lieberthal graduated from Harvard Law School with his Juris Doctor degree in 1999. At the time that they met, he told Margulies, "‘I was a Wall Street litigator for six years.' "
Since then, Lieberthal has worked at several companies as either general counsel or director, including Tommy Hilfiger, Guidepoint and Lincoln Center International.
He's currently the Head of Americas at Hakluyt & Company, a London-based consulting firm, where he's been for nearly five years.
Margulies knew he was “the one” 6 months in
Six months into their relationship, Margulies invited Lieberthal to attend the premiere of her movie Snakes on a Plane.
"It was actually the weekend of our six-month anniversary since we had met, so we were out in L.A. and we went to this restaurant to celebrate," she told PEOPLE. "I just remember looking at him across the table, after he had watched this movie."
Margulies continued: "I mean, listen, it was a fun movie to do, and I'll do anything with Samuel L. Jackson in it, but it's not a high-brow movie. And he had so much fun."
That's when she knew Lieberthal was the one for her.
"We had such a good time at the premiere, and we were just laughing our a---- off," she said. "At dinner, I was like, 'Wow, if he could sit through that and still see me for who I am, I would marry this guy if he asked me tomorrow.' "
He married Margulies in 2007
The couple married on Nov. 10, 2007. Margulies was seven months pregnant and wore a white Narciso Rodriguez gown. Meanwhile, Lieberthal opted for a black Armani suit at their wedding in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Margulies’ father, Paul, shared more with PEOPLE about their special day after walking her down the aisle.
“It was all traditional. It was very touching. She was radiant. It was beautiful,” he said. “We’re thrilled for her, and the young man she married is a wonderful person. We’re proud to have him as a part of our family.”
Afterward, the duo didn't have time to enjoy a honeymoon. Instead, Margulies returned to work on her TV show, the Fox legal drama Canterbury’s Law. “They’re both very busy,” Paul added.
He and Margulies have one child
Two months later, the newlyweds welcomed their only son, Kieran Lindsay Lieberthal, on Jan. 17, 2008.
Speaking with DeGeneres, Margulies revealed that his son's first name was inspired by Lieberthal's heritage. "Keith is half Irish, raised Jewish ... 'Let's honor your Irish side and find an Irish name,' " she recalled telling her husband.
Margulies shared with PEOPLE that having a boy "was something out of my comfort zone. I'm from a family of all girls; I knew how to take care of a girl."
Now, the actress said that Kieran "teaches me every day."
She explained in April 2021: "He taught me about chilling out during the pandemic. I lost it on several occasions. I remember asking him, 'Are you doing okay?' He goes, 'What's not to love? I go to school in my pajamas, you're home every night cooking a delicious meal, and then we play.' "
One thing they love to do together is play poker, and Margulies taught him herself.
"So just know if my son is in jail for counting cards when he's 25, it's totally my fault," she said.
He inspires how they raise their son, Kieran
In 2018, Margulies told Today that she was teaching Kieran to be chivalrous like his father.
“You have to teach them what’s right and wrong. My husband and I are on the same page in how we’re raising him. You have to guide them to the light rather than the dark,” she said.
Margulies continued: “When I met my husband, he’d open the car door for me and I’d get out the other side. He was raised correctly. I wasn’t used to being around guys who did that. I realized that it’s time to raise conscious boys.”
Previously, she told DeGeneres that this was one of the reasons why she thanked her in-laws when she won best actress in a drama series at the 2011 SAG Awards for The Good Wife.
"Ken and Jane Lieberthal, thank you for producing truly the most spectacular human being who I get to call my husband. Life is just better with you in it, Keith," she said at the Hollywood event.
The actress later added: "I really love my in-laws and I'm so proud of how they raised their two sons. My husband and his brother are just remarkable, good human beings, so I really meant it."
He supports Margulies’ career
During an interview with Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, Margulies shared the secrets to her long-standing marriage, including having different passions.
“I got really lucky. We have such mutual respect for one another," she said. "We’re not in the same business, which I think is a really good thing. He gets excited by my work, and I get excited by his work."
Margulies added: "I’ve never learned more from another human being than I have from my husband. I know it sounds so corny.”
He and Margulies are passionate about marriage equality
In 2011, the couple starred together in a campaign video for "New Yorkers for Marriage Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization in the U.S.
The pair shared in the video the importance of marriage equality and "letting every New Yorker embrace this commitment to the person they love."
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